John F. Ahearn

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John F. Ahearn

John F. Ahearn (April 18, 1853 – December 19, 1920) was a New York City political figure who served in the New York State Assembly, the New York State Senate, and as Manhattan Borough President.


John Francis Ahearn was born in Manhattan on April 18, 1853. He was educated in New York City's public schools and pursued a business career, working as a clerk and manager in several different firms.[1]

He was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 4th D.) in 1882. Upon leaving the legislature Ahearn was appointed to a clerkship in the New York City Police Court.[2]

Ahearn was a member of the New York State Senate (6th D.) from 1890 to 1902, sitting in the 113th, 114th, 115th, 116th (all four 6th D.), 117th, 118th (both 8th D.), 119th, 120th, 121st, 122nd, 123rd, 124th and 125th New York State Legislatures (all seven 10th D.).[3] At first a member of the "County Democracy" (the Anti-Tammany faction of the New York Democrats), later he became an active member of the Tammany Hall organization, and created a political organization loyal to him, the John F. Ahearn Association.[4][5]

In 1903 Ahearn was elected Manhattan Borough President.[6] Governor Charles Evans Hughes removed Ahearn from office for corruption and neglect in 1907, but Ahearn won the aldermanic election to fill the vacancy.[7][8]

In 1909 the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the aldermanic election that returned Ahearn to office following his removal by Hughes was illegal. With Hughes' action being upheld, Ahearn finally vacated the borough presidency.[9]

Ahearn died in New York City on December 19, 1920.[10]

State Senator Edward J. Ahearn (1891–1934) was his son.


  1. ^ Edgar L. Murlin, New York Red Book: An Illustrated Legislative Manual, 1895, pages 139 to 140
  2. ^ Edgar L. Murlin, New York Red Book: An Illustrated Legislative Manual, 1902, pages 56 to 57
  3. ^ J. B. Lyon Company, Proceedings of the Legislature of the State of New York on the Life and Public Services of John Francis Ahearn, 1921, title page
  4. ^ New York Times, Five Wards on a Picnic; The John F. Ahearn Association has its Annual Outing, August 1, 1893
  5. ^ New York Times, Tammany Society Elections, April 20, 1904
  6. ^ New York Times, Plans for Inauguration, January 1, 1904
  7. ^ New York Times, Ahearn Pilloried; May be Removed, July 17, 1907
  8. ^ New York Times, Ahearn Reelected; Hughes Not to Act, December 20, 1907
  9. ^ New York Times, Ahearn Ruled Out, October 30, 1909
  10. ^ New York Times, John F. Ahearn Dies at His Home Here, December 20, 1920

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
John Henry McCarthy
New York State Assembly
New York County, 4th District

Succeeded by
Patrick H. Roche
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Thomas F. Grady
New York State Senate
6th District

Succeeded by
John McCarty
Preceded by
Martin T. McMahon
New York State Senate
8th District

Succeeded by
Albert A. Wray
Preceded by
Frank A. O'Donnel
New York State Senate
10th District

Succeeded by
Daniel J. Riordan
Political offices
Preceded by
Jacob A. Cantor
Borough President of Manhattan
Succeeded by
John Cloughen